iOS and iPadOS 14 for the first time will allow users to set default browsers and email apps. While the feature was announced at WWDC, little information is known on how it will exactly be implemented.
Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said in an interview following WWDC that email and browser apps much meet certain requirements, and now, we know what they are.
Apple says that in order for an app to be considered an option to be a default web browser, it must on launch “provide a text field for entering a URL, search tools for finding relevant links on the internet, or curated lists of bookmarks.”
Apple says that when a user clicks on an HTTP or HTTPs URL, the browser app must open the content directly and not redirect the user to an unexpected location. Apple says that browser apps must also present users with clear information on possible phishing or other problems in a “Safe Browsing” mode.
As for email, Apple is clear it’ll be stricter but presents little rules in that regard. Apple says that since email is a critical means of communication, in order for apps to be considered an option it must “meet specific functional criteria aimed at ensuring private and accurate access for users.”
The only requirements that Apple presents for default email apps are:
- Specify the
mailto:scheme in its
- Be able to send a message to any valid email recipient.
- Be able to receive a message from any email sender. Apps that provide user-controlled incoming mail screening features are permitted.
Until iOS and iPadOS 14 ships to customers developers will be using this information to prepare their apps so users have a number of options to replace Apple’s Safari and Mail come this fall.